By Anya TikkaMILFORD — There are no degrees of separation between the Hotel Fauchère and some of America's most talented and celebrated people.
An informal reception held Jan. 24 paid tribute to some of the artists, statesmen, and athletes who have stayed at the hotel over the years, by inducting them into the Fauchère's "Wall of Fame."
“We are proud to recognize the passion and accomplishment of each inductee, especially so because of their connection to Milford and the Hotel Fauchère," said owner Sean Strub.
He also said it’s important for Milford's weekend residents to connect with full-timers.
Some of the inductees not present were praised by their friends. The three who attended received a personal tribute and viewed their portraits, which will be hung on the wall.
"My friend has done so much," he said. "When the music about Milford will be written,” it will feature Kaplan.
Strub said she’s been an upbeat and supportive volunteer in many causes.
“Wendy’s done everything," said Strub. "We should just put ‘personality’ on her description."
He was answered by thundering applause and whoops from those who had crowded into the Delmonico Room.
Kaplan called it "an amazing honor for me."
"I remember coming here when it was just a twinkle in yours and Richard’s (Snyder) eye," she told Strub. "And there was no wall, and none of this existed. And now we have a wall, with so many incredible community minded personalities, artists, people who all care about Milford and love Milford.”
Kaplan had just come back from Africa. She says on her website that "the combination of studying anthropology and theatre initiated a dramatic life change, leading me to a village in Nigeria to study voodoo. The locals called me 'Oyebo,' which means the white skin around a peeled orange. My passion for the unusual has also brought me to the Amazon where my adventures included interviewing a tapir, eating reeds with the Amayra Indians in Lake Titicaca in Peru, and dancing with the Kuna Indians in the San Blas Islands."
And there's no doubt she cherishes Milford as much as any place on earth.
“From the time I came here 15 years ago, I volunteered in everything," she told the gathering at the Fauchère. "It’s not just a little town in Pennsylvania, it’s not just a weekend place. It really is unique and special. I’ve been everywhere, but I come back and say, everything I need and love is right here on my own backyard.”
She said she wrote her book not because she was a complete success, but to "speak for every person who’s out there, to go for it. I encourage everybody here to do the same thing.”
“It’s a privilege," Makishi said. "Coming to the Fauchère has allowed me to interact with so many artists. Thank you, Sean.”
Andrew Lippa is a composer, lyricist, and actor who was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Original Score for "The Addams Family" in 2010. He married David Bloch in a religious and family ceremony in Milford.
“This is a very special place for us," said Lippa. "We come here every Friday from the city in the summer. Thank you, thank you.”